tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN April 21, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
but i can promise you that they are being fought about and work towards. -- thought about and worked towards. >> i would like to direct this question to my combat tree its from michigan first grade when we look at the north american company -- to my compriots from michigan first. it is not just the united states problem. what should be our approach to our workers acrosshe river into canada, workers in mexico? what should be our relation to the international labor organization,hich has programs for the worker, a defense of the worker, for women?
what should the relationship be to the international labor organization be? >>t should be one of solidarity and we are working with our brothers and sisters in canada, in mexico, and columbia -- colombia, in russia, all run the world. -- all are around the world. we are behind the curve. we are not anywhere near as far as we should be in understanding the global economy. buwe're movg up very quickly. we're working together and we will not rest until we have a global middle-class where everybody can make a decent living and by everybody else's products. we do not see that right now. >> i want to give the steel
workers credit because they were doing it really aggressively, working with -- supporting strikes in mexico for workers to return to get decent wages. the greatest strain in the middle class in the u.s. is wages and befits of states in law or mexico. it is because there is not a free trade movement in mexico. the is a movement to date to help build free independent unions in a mexico. we have joined with the steelworkers and we have worked during closely with the solidarity center, a very active in mexico right now. we are finding that -- woers are trying to build a trade union movement in mexico. there is progress being made.
will join the steelworkers and by our joint pressure, those workers throughout the protectionist union and got an independent union, is a good contract, the right to representation. there is progress being made, but your question is a very important question. >> i want to thank you for putting this all together. [applause] >> tonight on c-span, a look at the news industry. so you have a discussion on the current status of newsstand price commentary. as -- we will have a discussion on the current status of news
and commentary. >> most people don't listen to nancy pelosi or talk about continuing resolutions. maybe it is different. we forgot that. the people that you know, let's be honest. you are conservative about something, you want your taxes to be low but if a couple of gay guys want to get married, why do you care? why do we have to be red teamed or blue team? >> watch this event from the new orleans literary festival tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. tonight on c-span 2, a discussion on education reform with the reverend al sharpton and the assistant education secretary for civil rights. they will talk about academic disparities between children of
different races and districts in the country as well as how they think student achievement can improve. >> we used to hear the debates about affirmative action and people would say why do we need a program. because we had a program to exclude people. you have to have a program to counter the program that you had. this is not to some osmosis that excluded people, this was intentional. you must intentionally correct what was wrong. >> watch this event from the aspen institute tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. may 1st, your questions for the chapman university professor, tibor machan. he will take your calls, e-mail, and tweets.
>> 2/3 of the american people depended on the network news. those where their primary source of news information about the president of the united states. all were hostile to mr. dixon. -- to richard nixon. >> foot surge, watch, share every program from 1987 through today. this is washington your way. coming up next, a discussion about states' rights versus federal authority. this is from the annual conference on world affairs at the university of colorado at boulder. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> let me say a little bit about our remarkable panel. i will introduce them very briefly in the interests of time
but i urge you to consult your program for more about their accomplishments. the members of the panel are terrence mcnally, an actor, producer, filmmaker, and general all-around artistic genius. narrative allowing people to tell their stories in ways that reveal their truths and their foibles. my favorite fact about terrence mcnally, he directed the wonderful film first girls are easy. next to me, robert kaufman a distinguished scholar now at the heritage foundation and pepperdine universi ose many books have considered such subjects as on control and the careers of various united states political figures, generally but not always republican officeholders. he is currtly working on a book about how republicans can recapturthe white house in 2012 and i am told that
remarkably, jack hour does not figure in his scheme at all. [laughter] right down there in the blue shirt is the editor of the washington spectator and has had a long and accomplished revere in both weekly and longform journalism. he co-authored two books with the late and beloved conference on world affairs figure, mali ivins and like professor kaufman he is frequently written about the political careers of republican political figures, although i believe the somewhat less admiration than professor kaufman generally has for his subjects. [laughter] >> correct. and richard mack in the yellow shirt there has had a long and honored career and law-enforcement, including a sheriff of graham county arizona for a decade. he was plaintiff in al anbar case before the united states supreme court challenging the constitutionality of the brady bill on state sovereignty grounds and he has written
several books about his life and work. he is a frequent speaker at tea party events, but he assures me that he undersnds that this is not so much like one of those. [laughter] we will begin with terrence mcnally. terrence thank you so much for being with us. >> tnk you, mimi. i read the bios of the other members of this panel and i've realized that there is no way that i know as much about the subject as they do. subject which i think is important and one about which i suspect many people are not really clear, a little fuzzy about what are the issues around states rights and what are the problems and what are the circumstances and so on. so i'm going to start off by offering some questions. i would like them to answer if they get the chance in terms of their remarks orafterwards. and first of all i asked myself what i thought when i read the word states rights and i thought
of civil rights complex, with states on the side of retaining separation, segregation unequal access in the 60s. the federal government asserting its right to ignore california's medical mare won a lot, even though it demands no interstate commerce. the supreme court stopping florida's presidential recount in 2000 on the claim that irreparable harm would be done by recounting those with differing standards in different counties all those those votes have been counted once already with differing standards in differing counties. now, i usually feel that we don't gain a lot by labeling things conservatives, liberal, right, left because i don't feel there's enough consistency and i don't feel are there of them still holds to the original definition. i see others described as conservative, who want to interfere intrusively and the private lives of its citizens.
i see others described it as progressives or liberals coming to the aid of wall street, much more aggressively and successfully been to that of working families. so it seems to me that what we want in an issue like states rights and so in so many issues is consistency. a basketball or soccer game you want the referees to call it the same way the whole game for both teams and it is my sense that people like states rights or don't like it. i want to mamize our minimize it depending on the outcome that would happen when you take are there position. so, that is my impression. my big question is how accurate is the impressn? question, do regular folks think the question of states rights is important? how much do regular folks really care? i know states rights are important to some people. who are those people and what is it that makes them care about it so much? am i right that most people come most general citizenry are
pretty unclear about are there what the constitution says or about what the various arguments actually are? and, if we were going to make the general population more informed, what is important that they know about the origins of states rights or the history or critical decisio or the important questions we face today? finally, can be a rain of states rights be boiled down to a few clear principles and how much agreement is is there on those principles? and a couple of sort of onus rounds, what is up with the citizens of washington d.c. and the fact that they lack representation? how does that fit into the story out it is not states rights in this case but about right. finally here's my biggest question with regard to states rights. would be all be better off if lincoln had allowed those states who wish to succeed -- secede to do so? klasko was preserving the union a good idea and that may put it
into some context. with the american belief in progress half the nation was moving in a moderate direction based on slavery is evil. other set of state said no it is essential to who we are. it is our cultural and economic institution. we want to continue to hold slaves and then lincoln chooses to -- the preservation of the union, 600 people died which is equivalent to 5 million today and you know going and you are not going to persuade the south to change their minds are quite as you argoing to dominate and humiliate them and defeat them and although you emancipate the slaves they don't actually get their freedoms for another 100 years. sharecroppers actually worth less than a claim to his property. and you build up a deep resentment among southern whites, which i yield actually pays off to every election to this day. so what is it worth to preserve the union of that cost? those are my questions. and i want to rp one observation. homage time do i have?
>> plenty of time. >> great. about something that is not quite states rights but something that i find very exciting. with fellow named tom lindsay is the co-founder of an organization called community and berman to legal defense funds,and anybody interested in what i have to say check it out. their mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people in asserting their rights to local self-governance and expand and recognize the rights of people, communities and nature over the rights of corporations. in 1998 they began to assist communities to draft and pass laws. they have assted over 100 communities in passing aws that outlaw their rights that corporations claim to have been given by the constitution. this is a great reversal. what comments he learned after years of dealing with environmental regulations was th regulation does not work.
regulations are defense. regulations tell an offender how much pollution they can do, how much harm they can do to your unity by fracking for natural gas. he said no, you were on their side of the court then. pass a law that says a corporation does not have the right to do that because, and as i think will appeal to some other folks on the panel, the state of pennsylvania constitution says the sovereign in the state of pennsylvania is the people. now it turns out basically if you look at the original documents in the united states, the same is true. corporationsoriginally work granted their righ to exist at all the rights to get in terms of liability protection and so on, but they are granting a corporate charter was at the pleasure of the sovereign. in england that meant the royalty but in the united states that meant the people. and corporations originally were
entitled to do a public good whether it was asked gration if you were the east india bay company or the hudson bay company, or to perhaps build a bridge or something else that a simple group of people couldn't afford and yet when that public good was done, their license was over. that is how corporations originally worked. now, lindsay realized that as he started looking into the law come he saw that it was after the civil war that the corporations realize that if they were really goingo make it, they had to actually fight many laws in this country that still held that way. and they did a concerted effort and as we pretty well now they succeeded probably beyond their wildest dreams. with the 1886 finding that corporations were persons. wet lindsay and ceo bf has done
is they have said, we are going to set the rules for how our community works, for how the nature and our community. we are going to say it is the people's rights that matter, not the corporations. one question is, won't the corporation just fight these laws and the answer is yes but if you can see what you have done then is you have ipped again. instead of being on defense they are now one defense and as he points to the habla shin movement and points to the women's suffrage movement, it was, you had to actually fight to say a right which y may have assumed you had you actually had in you actually can not impose but you can bring rights to bear and so the attempt there to do is to do exactly that. what is teresting is, most of these communitieare rural communities. they are conservative communities so it is a wonderful melding kind of the american spirit that it is the people and
it is the local that matters, but it is finally rising up against corporations and one thing he says which some of the folks on panel may want to speak to is he said you can't fight these things in the state legislatures because the state legislatures have now been overwhelmed by the corporations. the way that money runs elections now, the laws, the rules and things are very often written by corporate lobbyists. so while 100 years ago, 120 years ago the state legislatures were strong enough to have made these rules, now he says you've got to go down to the community level so this panel is about states rights. it may be that our real hope comes in lower community rights, and i would think a lot of you know that is a lot of realizing about society that the totally centralized way we do power, the way we do food, the way do so many things is not working for us and it is the resurgen of the locals that
may be our salvation. thank you. [applause] >> thank you terrence. professor kaufman. >> looking at states rights, but like to go back to the actual constitution and the debates over the contitution, particularly james madison for the constitution as our starting point found in the federalist papers. one of the objections of the anti-federalist people who believe that the national government was too strong was that it obliterated the rights of states. to that, madison responded that our system was unique. it was unique in that it conferred mix sovereigy some issues to the national government, on other issues to the states. and without that concession, without that concession, the constitution would not he been ratified in the first place.
what was the theory underlying states rights? why did the founders and alexis de tocqueville later commenting on the american system, identify the federal nature of our system where much was reserved to the states as part of the genius of that? one reason is that the founders believed that in ordr to inculcate the skills of self-government, people needed to have responsibilities suitable to the issue. at the local, state and the national level. so literally, local and state government was considered to be a training ground of national government. the second thing is that the founderslso believe that many issues were best decided by those people closest to them, the catholic church calls it the doctrine of subsidiarity. there were a numerator powers reserved to the national
government. that is why we have a constitution and not the articles of confederation that gave too many rights to the states. but our founders believed that a large reservoir of states rights was necessary to inculcate the habits of self-government, good government, and also to prevent the excessive centralization of power that had been the bane of republican and democratic governments in history. so the founders believed that states should have maj discretion on many issues, although not on issues they deemed national. that is .1. second that weber, terrence is right. there is a very good case that states rights theoretically should be something we should encourage and on many issues we should because it provides 50 separate laboratories for trying
things, education policy, health care, rather than a one-size-fits-all. youcan learn from the comparative successes and failures of states if you give them a wide degree of discretion on many domestic issues. the unfortunate thing about states rights, even when it is legitimate and it is legitimate much of the time, is that historic day, the greatest effort in invoking the doctrine of states rights was in folks for the least defensible cost. slavery and also to maintain the southern system of segregation right up until the 1960s and one of the problems in discussing states rights is how do you delink states rights as a theoretical and practical idea, an idea that has much merit and much constitutional sanction? how do you delink back from the misuse of the principle of states rights that happened during the pre-civil civil war period and the period of
segregation after reconstruction that didn't end until the voting rights act of 1964 and the civil rights act of 1965. so there is a paradox at the heart of states rights. there is a third issue. what the founders thought a significant for me, very significant but we also have to take into account that basic ring court particully since the 1930s has dramatically narrowed the scope of states rights through the aggressive use of the commerce clause. whether you agree or disagree with that, and i disagree, it will be very hard toove to an originalist notion of states rights even be linked to the sin of slavery based on 75 years of experience with the court dramatically broadening the role of the federal government. on the last issue of whether we should have fought the civil
war, i must say that is the easiest one. i say this in humor, terence but in all bizarre ideas i have heard of my five years coming, including one panel on what would jesus cut in the budget -- [laughter] this one takes the case -- cake and usually it is associated with some recalcitrant southerner somewhere in south carolina at the citadel. had lincoln not fought the civil r, the united states would have descended into dante's nine chamber of help. we would have broken up into three or four separate republics europe would have played us off each other the way they played european states f each other to gain our independence. also it wouldn't would not solve the racial issue because the south would have become an ev more deeply apartheid system. there would have been fugitive slaves, causes for war and if you think that eradicating the
vestiges of discrimination was difficult, but the civil war, the would have multiplied those difficulties by an exponent had lincoln not fought the civil war. people say kaufman likes war. he defends the bush doctrine. indeed, he does but if you don't want to take my word for it, take the word of james mcpherson at princeton university who wrote the authoritative look on the civil war, battle cry freedom. the civil war was absolutely necessary. lincoln like to fight it and it is a tragedy that it took 600,000 men and brave people to eradicate the original sin of slavery. states rights is a legitimate principle. the contours of which will be affected via the courts. there are some issues where the federal government has been given primacy from the beginng, such as immigration. there are other issues
traditionally, the reserve of the states such as education. there are some issues like the them garment in which the founde couldn't have anticipated that is actually in my view a national rather than a state issue because of the effects of the environmental problems don't scrupulously respect state boundaries. what is an issue that is a public good that is better suited to the national government? what is an issue better suited to state or local government? that set of issues that the founders pondered in 1787 at the constitutional convention is still with ustoday and the reasoning othe founders is the best way still for all its problems, to think through the problem of the proper responsibili of the states versus the national government and our great successful social experience called the united states of america. thank you.
[applause] >> can i say one thing? i was not advocating the advocating the lincoln position. is raising the question. >> while you are not supposed to raise it. [laughter] >> professor kaufman i think you should just. >>our mind. [laughter] >> i have to overcome this pathological shyness. help me. >> thank you very much for your comments. next lou dubose who i suspect has been wondering what his beloved hometown of boston would have been like if texas remained the old confederacy and permitted to secede. >> made me find out again. we have a governor who has advoted or come close to advocating secession. but the point i would like to start with a bit of housekeeping. to the guy with the gray hair who is standing in in the one down for me and i said this is where me go my friends, thought he was deep.
[laughter] that was the extent of it. it was a senator gregg moment. my stance was wide. anyway, should you see him or should that rumor began romer began to circulate in the conference, he looks very much like someone else, thesis profile. his profile. [laughter] alright, starting from there, i can g nowhere but up. i am not going to take on terence on this or professor kaufman the civil war. but, i would like to remark abousomething that terence said. yoknow, i spent half my time in washington d.c. and half my time in austin. in a weirdly gerrymandered congressional districts at makes me boat in san antonio.
and, in austin i'm represented by lamar smith and in d.c. i'm represented by elinor thornton who does not have it both. i preferred congresswoman horton to lamar smith led it isan oddity that to this day washington d. has no congressional representation. i think it is a travesty. i want to indulge you for a few moments in a bit of my personal history that has nothing to do with what i started with. and, that is, in 1971, i was hired at a public school in texas. i had just graduated from the university of houston. i weren't to work as a public schoolteacher in east texas. i had a 66 dodge dart. i wish i still had it. they are great cars. at a 66 dodge dart and i started
out on telephone road, the telephone road of the steve earle song. i crossed the houston channel, one of the most polluted oddities of water in the nation. i was an occasional -- a casual worker on the docks and there were warnings about the possibility of death should you fall into the water. on down highway 90, i passed -- i knew it miles before i got there, i passed across the san jacinto river. on my right was the slot pit which was later an epa superfund site. in this pit, 100 ship channel companies dumped 70,000 gallons of industrial waste of the backs of their tanks. it went on through 1970 and it
did in 1970. i get to lynchburg ferry with road and i turn right. crosby texas was rigidly segregated by i-90, barrett station on the right, 100% black and i would differ slightly with professor kaufman and that i don't think we he quite taken care of all of the legacies of slavery and racism. so, it was an all-black community on the right on the northside of the highway was crosby which was an all white community. still pretty much the same to this day. at crosby, some of the kids that i talked sadly went into the texas penal system. one of theost brutal, brutal corrections institutions in the history of not just the country but really, really you know,
dogs, attack dogs, torture, denial of health care. now, you know and at the same time, my good friend dave richards was litigating in east texas 100 miles to the north, where the populati was about 20%, 2227% depending on your county african-american yet there was not a single african-american county commissioner. you know, william barrett travis wrote a famous letter from alamo, and living in texas at that time, the letter that read, to the people of texas and to americans all over the world, the beseech you to come to our aid. we are surrounded by, and in our case, we were in the same circumstce. we were surrounded by us, by the people of texas and the government of texas that would have done nothing to wreck if i any of these, any of these
really serious problems had it not been for the supremacy clause of the constitution of the united state you know, the school that i taught act in 1970, 71, had been integrated in 1970. that is what brown v. board was in 1954, so you can do the math. i can't because i am -- asleep. but you know, the school was still segregated in 1970. you know, you have the notion that the texas authority, texas and any agency of texas government would have cleaned the sh channel, which now is a better story. you know, no one is swimming in a gap but you know it is not a cesspool. , undertaking the cleaning out of their french limited superfund site. that was going on under the supervision of the texas water quality commission.
there's a notion for you. for six years. it required federal intervention a required in many cases one remarkable judge whose career, whose career arc was defined by many of these cases and the one texan in the room is nodding yes because he knows it is jge william wayne justice he died two years ago. he was an activist judge. ..
in 1970. in 1993 -- in 1993i was following a justice case to east texas town. it was a some downtown. a legacy -- have a legacy of racism that persists to this day. there was a tom -- there was a sign in the 60's that said's don't let the sun set in your texas because the emotional impact that that had on an african-american person who had to drive through that city. the case to win justice was litigating who was ivolved the integration of public housing of viter never had an african-amican citizen live within its city limits and when justice integrated public housing in viter. so from my perspective, you
know, he also clean up -- really remarkable judge, wiiam wayne justice also sued, presided over a lawsuit that ended the most brutal practices and one of the most brutal prisons in the country. my point being there was no relief from the local government. there was no relief from an african-american who wanted to serve on his counsel in nacogdoches texas in 1978 but the day that he filed a suit and when justice' court and the relief came by the grace of the constitution and by the supremacy clause and by -- christoff 14th amendment, the protection, walls, case law, but i am, founded by -- i really come from the bye our current states' rights movement.
in particular the nullification. i have been for the past two months doing something i think progressive liberal journalists, i'm not afraid of that term, i use it on occasion, i've been out talking to tea pariers in wyoming, wisconsin, arizona, and the notion i keep hearing again and again and again is hat the tenth amendment which guaranteed, which goes to the states' rights of the states that are not enumerated in to the federal government of the constitution because it passed after the supremacy clause it kes precedence over the supremacy clause. you know, there or modification bills and in montana, i was in helena and last week, nullification would mollify the dangered species act. there are laws the would require
us to citizens to disobey the enngered species act, i'm sorry. you know, it's a really interesting movement. i'm a little off. it's based on the politics that resentment. i spoke with one really terrifically nice y, sincere man, but as leader in his first term who just filed a bill tt would allow the state of montana to begin using eminent domain to reclaim federal land i saw the same bill followed by a senator in arizona two months earlier and he said we are going to start filing suit and taking the federal land back away from the government.
and thinking the grand canyon? they're going to take the grand canyon and sell it? 's an interesting movemt. i would think it amusing if it re not taken so seriously, and i think it really represents a threat to the commonwealth and to the notion that we are a united stes of america. i will close and try to be better in the lightning round. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you. if i could have a personal observation and a little bit conference on world affairs seven votee, i was the law clerk to judge william rehnqut during some of the years that you described and i want to say that the situation in east texas particularly as it pertained to people of color is exactly as him to become he described it. >> and what a judge. >> what a judge. i miss him very much just like i miss small iain i think the two of them e probably joking and laughing together.
>> richard mack? >> it's a pleasure to be here and on this panel with of these distinguished panelists. first i would like to add these to pumas equals doesn't grant supreme power to the federal governmen it's something that is in my lawsuit and justice scalia addressed this issue. it only makes t law supreme of the federal government that are made in pursuit of the constitution so you can look at the federal government and not see any supremacy because they don't do anything that's constitutional and that's the way that it's been for a number of decades now. so there's nothing supreme about degrang the constitution were going or making the laws that are clearly unconstitutional. and i would be both sides of the ogle because the patriot act was done by the republicans and it's the most on constitutional law that we've had in america in the last 50 years. maybe more. [applause]
i was sure of and in law enforcement and that's all i wanted to do and wanted to be sure if my home town and we, my home town, county is 95% owned by the federal government. and it's not their land. as in that and read the cowboys we are in arizona, it still think we can run the grand canyon without the federal government. i don't know. i might be stretching that. and i really think the bottom ne of this is, you know, the federal government has just gone out of control and is there an answer to that? yes, there is. the founding fathers put it in the constitution. it'scalled the tenth amendment. and the reason that that's there is to keep the federal government in check. while i was the sheriff in arizona, the federal government, united states congress passed a
law known as the brady bill. it was advertised and propagandized by the clinton administration as a five day waiting. before you could find a handgun. you know, but these going to have a heart attack over that. i thought it was stupid and i thought it was an infringement just as the second amendment says, and it gives us time and in the law enforcement to do a background check. who's been to oppose that? we want to make sure people aren't criminals than getting handguns. telling the truth about the brady bill. and until the brady bill was signed into law, november of 1993 that will generate 21st, 1994, free agents shall of at a sheriffs association meeting in phoenix. there's only 15 counties in arizona, and one of them. 12 sheriffs at the meeting. the datf hands as a document in
this is this details you're marching orders as to when you will do to comply with the brady bill background checks. we are kind of lking at each other and the sheriffs re going when did we start working for these guys? they don't hire us. and then he went on and said not only do you have to do the background checks but you have to use your resources commodore departmental money and budget come in your personnel and keep all the records and this isn'a kid on the stick grant. there's no money attached here. you have to pay for it yourself and we are sure the federal government won't do that. but if you fl to comply, you are subject to federal arrest. folks, you need to understand what they're saying here. this is the united states congress, federal government for the first time in u.s. history commandeering the office of local elected sheriff fo
federal bidding me, and if we don't like it, wcan go to jail the sifry with the support that? well, we idn't. you never heard so much cussing in your life when these agents left the room and that actually started before they left and i think that's why they tiptoed out. but every sheriff and there was against it. and after about five or six more hours of discussion, the cussing wing and into the emotions weaned and they said there's nothing wean do about this. you can't fight city hall. the federal government supreme, bologna, they are not. and so all the other sheriffs said we will have to do the best we can and go along, and i said you guys come away. i said come on. they don't haulier us, they can't fire us. we work by and for the people of the respective counties. no way. so i decided it too me awhile,
but i decided i was going to sue the federal government. i am a small-town sheriff, county of 35,000 people. david versus goliath. i'm going to take on the clinton administration. i'm going to sue them. d i wasn't really excited about it either. you might look at history and see of all the people that sood bill clinton, was the only one to do so on and on sexual matters. [laughter] so, be that as it may, the case went muc further than i ever fought, and on february 28, 1994, my lawyer with the help of the nra they helped pay for most of this but i pay for my own lawyer filed in federal district court in tucson arizona in the courtroom of one judge john role. i hope he will remember him.
he was killed on january 8 in tucson in a rampage. this was a very staunch principled judge, and man of honor. and he ruled in my case the congress exceeded its authority under article 1 section eight of the united states constitution, thereby impermissibly encroaching upon the power maintained by the states pursuant to the tenth amendment. 's also the only judge in the country that ever heard this case that also ruled that it violated the fifth amendment because of the threat of arrest that the small engendered and he was very much against the federal government thinking they could threaten the sheriffs in order to have less work for them for free. and this whole thing about the states' rights keeps coming back to the civil war and segregation and prejudice and hate, and let me make this very clear right
now have a poor much and freedoms for americans don't care what color you were what religion you are, and i don't care who your daddy wa. american principles are for everybody, and freedom is for everybody, and as far as i'm concerned, one of the greatest heroes in the history of america was rosa parks because she taught us all a very important lesson. what we do with stupid laws and we've got thousands and thousands of them today, and the question is what do we do? yes the states have every responsibility to tellthe federal government it's time for you to back off. you've gone too far, this is not your land, these are not your waterways. right now the federal government, all in the name of the endangered species act or all this other stuff shut off the water to the samaha keene valley in california where we get 50% of our fruit, vegetables
and nuts in this country. they did the same stupid thing in climate falls oregon in 2000 under the bush administration. i don't see a lot of difference between the two, obama or bush, if you want to know the trut we invade countries, tech farmers and ranchers and we do all these subsidies and entitlements and spend all this money we don't have. i don't see any difference really. but the thng of it is it has to happen. the states have the authority and the responsibility to tell the federal government you got to stay out,you've go too far. that's what the tenth amendment is about. it is a check and balance system that was in eight and engrained and inherent in the constitution. the founding fathers believed it. james madison said we can safely rely on the disposition of state legislators to erect barriers against the encroachment of the national authority, and of
quote. and my author fever quote is thomas jefferson. he said our government shall be drawn to washington as the center of all power it will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. and of quote. the question is, my friend, when the government goes too far, when the federal government thinks that it owns everything, our air, water, land, education, children, health care, every facet of our lives to whom can the people turn for peace, safety and protection? its local officials having the courage to stand for state sovereignty. where do you think the tenth amendment is going to be enforced? where do you think state sovereignty is going to be in force? who's going to enforce the ten demint and? are you waiting for barack obama to pick the state sovereignty
sar? that's probably not going to happen. the states are sovereign. and as hrible as the division between the south and the north might have been, they had every right to do it. i had a poor slavery, i had the segregation. i am against all of that but as horrible as it might be, the states formed the union. at the states formed the federal government, not the other way around, and they could certainly back out of it any time they felt that it was necessa. as horrible as that might have been, i'm sorry, the states are sovereign. they do not ask permission to do anything from the federal government, and as a matter of fact, i have in this little booklet is a synopsi of the supreme court decision. let me say -- what we do a couple of quotes from the supreme court. this is 1i really like from the
judge. mack is forced to choose between keeping his oath to the constitution that we all taken the law enforcement and government officials, is where the oath of allegian to the constitution obey the act or following the law. and then, justice scalia those we have held, however, states, state legislatures are not subject to federal direction. don't you wish your states knew that? they are not subject to federal direction. but conditions the xu pumas equals, doesn't it? the federal government, scalia sayswe held, may not come how the states to enact or eforce a federal regulatory program to administer or enforce a feral regulatory program would do you think that does for obamacare?
sounds like he's talking directly to that issue, and just in closing i will quote justice scalia one more time the federal government may neither issue directives requiring the states to address particular problems they can't even give us directed to do that, nor command of the state's officers or those of their political subdivisions, what are the political subdivisions? counties, cities, school boards to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. it matters nt whether policy-making is involved and no case by case weighingof the burden for benefits is necessary, suc commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty, end of quote, i'm don. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you, richard mack. i'm now going to invite the panelists if they wish to comment on one another's remarks and i'm going to begin with professor kaufman. >> i respectfully disagree. the constitution was not a compact states. was ratified by the people, buy conventions in the state's precisely because we rejected the contact theory of the articles in federation which gave the states being a supreme masri john cao home that wouldn't be accepted by judge scalia as much as i think that the constitution this respect a realm of states' rights, the founding fathers clearly considered the federal government's supreme and areas where the constitution confers a primary authority. i think the federal government has gone too far, but it's not that simple if we are going to
be analytical and fair about it. for instance a pretty sight of article 1 section eight and that's the section that eliminates the power of the congress. there is another clause we ven't talked about and that's what we debate. it's called the necessary and proper clause, the enumerated powers calls of what is necessary and proper to carry through those enumerated powers and from the beginning the debate between hamilton and jefferson also the national bank we had the data with the phrase necessary and proper means. i do believe that the congress and the president had gone too far in using the commerce clause in areas not justified by the original intent ofthe founding. to be fair, however, even though i don't agree with te principle, there is an alternative view of how to interpret the constitution associated with justice lawyer and others called the living
constitution dan argues that the constitution is a living document. so this debate about what the founders mea, and how that applies to today's situation is serious principal to debate where people can disagree on where to draw the line. it's not that simple. >> could i jump in the lightning round? i might be put in the lightning round actually. i come under that -- won, and what not to be arguing robert. you never argue with a rabbi and the lawwith a law professor so i'm good. >> if you agree wih me i'm going to take it back. [laughter] >> i like that. but, i mean, listen. m reading a lobby that passed the montana house two weeks ago that takes richard's position, and it says that it defines
certain federal transgressions of the tenth amendment, and it says -- will allow all goes on to say that if any of the federal government commits any of these transgressions, than the contact by which the states performed, and there was no contact come i agree with richard -- robert -- the compact is dissolved, and as i read it, it's not just dissolved for the state of ontana, but this one contractor who is in the state legislature which is the pinnacle of people's power, has written a bill that will dissolve our union and the result of federal government transgressors come across is one of his red lines. it does allow -- i was comforted to see for the constitution of the union by the state but states that want to get in.
so this you know, you go from the tenth amendment to the nullification and the secession it is a slippery slope, and i think as it becomes mainstream, it represents a threat to our way of government to the country because it ends up i endless fights that were put to rest by the civil war and they were put to rest by countless case law. so i just -- you know, the kids in texas had we -- because we had been waiting until this day for integration and the end of the separate versus equal were it not for intervention by the federal government under the supremacy clause. so i mean, i see the argument as very clear, and i'm going to defer to the sheriff. >> well, thanks. never would i ever say that state rights supersede principles of freedom. and certainly, when
segregationists in the south were still forcing blacks to get at the back of the bus or even worse, much worse, thefederal government comes and move san? that's fine because even scalia addresses that issue when the incursions' occur that the government from the separate governments, the different governments are here to protect us from incursions' of the other, and thereby he says a double security arises to the rights of the people. in other words, this is how we protect freedom from both sides. the federal government, yes, keep the checks and balances on the states. you can't do that to people. but the states also have the same responsibility. federal government, you can't do that either. now the fair and proper clause, what did you call it? >> i called it by quoting the
necessary and proper. that doesn't give carte blanche to the federal government and even the supremacy clause doesn't give carte blanche to the federal government. the founding fathers intended to create a central government with extreme limitations, and was called the constitution, and then some of the founders said that doesn't go fa enough. this is allowing too much power to the central government and we just fought a war to stop all that. and for anybody in this room or on this panel to pretend a any time the founding fathers wanted to establish another government of it tells what to do and run every facet of our lives king george the third wadoing in the first place is absurd. >> straw man. [laughter] observed. >> would you read the preamble to the constitution? >> i can quote it to you. we, the people. >> if you compare that to the articles of confederation which is weak the states, we are a
union, and in the realm of -- look, i agree with a lot of what you have to say to the federal government going to far. but when he makes the claim i think is unattainable that we are a compact of states -- >> i never said a word contact, you did. >> at shul you did. it's on the tape. >> you did. >> if you make the case the south of the legal right to secede which is the contact theory, but i think -- >> and that clinton says if you don't stay here we will tell you. if texas leaves we are going to invade texas and kill them all. >> gentlemen, gentlemen -- this is -- >> where it's legitimately applied. >> gentlemen, this is a wonderful conversation and i think it's time to bring some of the members of the faithful audience in to it. so if you don't mind my intervening i want tmake sure we have time for questions. so, ask your questions and
answers. if you wish to ask the question of the panel please come forward and line up here at the microphone. those of you who are vetera know that it's one of the greatest traditions of the conference on world affairs of students have a prayer before asking questions. so as to why not, maintain your place in line but there isa student before you please allow the student to get in front of you. his other great tradition. i will get to you in a second, that although i am sure that many of you have a lot of knowledge and information that you can share, this is opportunity to ask a question, not to make a speech. now we realize that certain questions have to be prefaced by a brief kind of prefatory foundation. that's okay. but if i see that you embark on a speech rather than about to ask a question i'm going to ask you to get directly to your question. so, before we begin with questions, did you have something you wanted to add? >> i just want to briefly quote justice marshall in talking about the necessary and proper clause. he said the result of the most
careful consideration is bestowed upon the walls is that it does not in large, it cannot be construed to restrain the power of congress or to impair the right of the religious to exercise its bet judgment in the selection of measures to carry the execution the cotitutional powers of the government. i mean, i think that is the balance, so what happens then is i think you end up making, you know, decisions, rulings and opinions based on how you interpret the balance. the other thing i want to mention is just a wonderful point of iny. last night i was researching for this panel and i was looking at the sheriff and i found myself drawn to this page that said to save american convention the share fix once states rights it was a web site called the desk of brough in your resource for breaking obscure news from around the world, and then describes the sheriff mack's lecture on the constitution what applies to state rights and sovereignty after reading just a few minutes about this appeal
for the greater freedom for individuals like me, my computer screen was filled with pop-up ads asng me if i wanted to clean my mack and offering only one option, okay, and the only way i could get out is by turning off my browser. [laughter] >> it's my fault. >> i know. it's just wonderful the irony of the site is declaring individual freedom taking away min as i read it. [laughter] >> we need to regulate more of the internet than. a greater federal regulation on the internet. [laughter] >> let it began here. >> feral government -- >> thank you very much. let's go to the young gentleman in the green t-shirt. >> my question is to mr. mack, and you mentioned among the things the government has no right to regulate school books
so wouldn't brown be unconstitutional? >> brown? >> yes. so, if you could tell on that, you said that who is there to protect the peace and prosperity of the people, well, what i would say, and correct me if i'm wrong, that brown v board was to protect the peace and prosperity of the people come and if that's -- the federal government over stuffing it's bound, i don't see why the federal government is there if not to protect the peace and prosperity of its own people. [applause] >> man. i must say, for being a student at the university of colorado -- [laughter] you have a great insight. i would say -- i would just say this, that i would love to see the federal government dedicated
to those principles that you mentioned. but learning every facet of our lives and in putting education isn't one of them. i honestly believe that colorado educators are smart enough to do without th federal government, to do it without the department of education. one of the things i will add, there's a famous american that agreed with me on this and promised when he was president to abolish the department of education that heidn do it, and it was ronald reagan, and i really believe a local board of education, if they need to be called in to check local people can do that. and i still believe l of this is based on weak, the people come and the government needs to be aimed at that. and i want it to be smaller and more efficient and less expensive. if we get rid of some of the departments in washington, d.c. that is the way that will happen. >> and ronald reagan also supported the brown v. board of education with few supreme court rendered by the nine to nothing decision because it wasn't an
educational decision, it was for the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment that this meant racial apartheid system which was the expressed intent of the civil war amendment. so in that case, the court would have had the rigt because that is an area where the constitution says the federal government is supreme over the prerogative of the stage for good reason and we had to fight a civil war not that we should have to get those amendments. >> and we the people in 1970 in the form of elected school words as close to democracy as one can get have flocked african-american children in the historical system of apartheid that in some places in texas it's no secret its alexis today. so i think it is a point well made. and i wish that the guy were my nephew. [laughter] >> sur? >> thank you for coming. everybody seems to be appealing to the constitution like religiously, right?
is it true that we, the people, represented the people? it's my understanding about 200 guys and won a small place making, pointing at the map saying we all this stuff, this is all our stuff and therefore we owned the people. >> you undstand incorrectly that especially for the standards of the time the constitution was ratified by 13 separate state conventions. and not only -- they were not conventions conferred by the authority of the states. the work conventions in the 13 separate states of the people, and let me add one more thing. the requirement r the suffrage, the requirement for the voting in the constitution was that it had to be as broad as the broadest agreement suffrage for any office, meaning by the standards of the time. the constitution was ratified by
the broad potential voting group in each and every state. so by the standard at the time, it is more than legitimate to say that we the people clause actually has not only historical but substantive meaning. >> so you are appealing to decracy than. if the majority of the people want to do somhing, therefore it's right. >> no, it isn't because we are not a democracy and that's a word that has been -- >> i'm just saying -- >> you're constitutional republic. we don't pledge to democracy, we pledge to the public. if one person disagreed with the constitution, was it right to force their will upon another man? but you're saying you are assuming that they did, and this backing of the states and the state's actuly -- the states actually formed this very separately, and in fact any of the states could have backed out of this union and it still would have gone forward. but that state would have been a separate government, it would have been a separate country. and that is how this was. and the states ratified the bill
of rights. not the federal government. >> this note real estate, there's just individuals. all the talk of state -- >> but it was all aimed at by, for and of the people. it was aimed at that, protecting the god-given freedoms. >> thank you. can we move on to the next questioner? thank you. is sam? >> my name is ellen hilliard. i wanted to bring this back a little bit to what terrance said because if you point was well taken that this isn't a conservative issue or liberal issue. this isn't a republican issue or democrat issue or progressive issue. in our county here even the issue of state ownership or property rights is one that always seems to be kind of a double-edged sword. i think it was the elephant journal that actually broke the story of our land is being taken with taxpayers' money and being
rented to the gm note monsanto for sugar beets. even though the national park issue, i read that it's been used as collateral for the chinese debt. so this issue is much greater. my question to you is to someone that's an organic farmer and holistic practioners trying to maintain the sovereignty of my own land when we have all these like the food safety act and then codex on the basis trying to control my property and telling me my dogs can't even go there how do you -- does somone like me -- if you can't use the state's rights issue, how do you take back onership of your own land and make the decision on your own land? is there a process we go to of the people? >> i think on the individual basis, that very challenging.
is it to the celdf, basically what they have stopped is floods, factory farms, it is usually, my guess a corporation that's going to do things in the way ey want to do them and is going to pay off with its lobbying or watever the legislators to get the way they want and what they found is that at the grassroots community if they come together and they make laws returning the the sovereignty to the people that they can borrow those things. and so i could recommend getting us or them they do a three day democracy school that can bring and they will come out and do it in the teacher community how to keep these stands. >> that is a proper equals question under the constitution. i would look to the calls and maybe make the case under th fifth amendment. but the positive revelation state or local constitution
taking without just did not acquit compensation. but the constitution rather than the states' rigs as your best bet for looking t your prerogatives under the circumstance. >> getting your rights to the life liberty and property should be protected by local officials anthat is yourlocal sheriff, chief of police, they should be protecting you even against other governments if necessary. rosa parks is a typical example of that. as somebody in uniform should have protected rosa parks instead of arresting her that day. somebody with a badge shuld have made sure that she didn't go to jail, that her life, liberty and property life and liberty were protected that date. we failein the law enforcement community to do that with rosa parks, and we need to make sure we are doing it today. >> and unfortunately it took sending federal troops, ot state and local.
i don't care what it does as long as the job gets done. >> and therein lies the fallacy in the tenth amendment argument, and that there were legions of state and local officials who refuse to act, and required -- list call me an old fashioned for nannystater that the federal government in almost every one of these instances in terms of expanding individual liberty or cleaning the individual liberties and vil rights that we had it didn't hpen at the state's local level. and i'd like to see where it has. >> he started while he was president and was in the federal government standing up. you think you need federal government to protect all of this and stop all his? i am for anybody stopping it, but it's the best --thomas jefferson said of the best government is at local level and
that's the local sheriff, local officers. it depended on the federal government you're going to be waiting a long time for that. >> thank you for your question. sir? >> i found the united states is like the old soviet union, the only country in the world that science virtually every human rights treaty there is but doesn't enforce it. the process by which the government is liable for e misconduct committing injuries to citizens as it pertains -- demint your question, sir? >> that's what i'm getting too. the new hampshire constitution states this and contact theory where if the government doesn't do its job, the contract which is the constitution is noel and void. on the states necessarily have both a right and a duty to secede or threatened secession
if the government doesn't do what it's suppsed to do as defining the constitution which it does all the time? >> first of all the united states is nothing like the soviet constitution of 1934. if you read the black book of communism published by harvard university press, written by the neoconservatives but by frenchman, the soviet syem conservatively estimated 30 to 40 million people. so you are comparing the gadfly to an elephant. as for the issue of secessi, 1865 settled that one. >> it was legal, good and we've benefited immensely from it. >> yes, sir. >> first, professor of think you spoken a little too grand about this father's, hamilton who is as great an authority on the constitution as a madison proposed the unitary state.
>> okay. my question is and is a tenant -- my question is a tenant of legislation that a legislator drop a piece of legislation for each word in the proposed legislation have an equal meaning and apropos of the brady bill, mr. mack i'd like to know what your interpretation of the phrase well regulated in the second amendment means is limited means well-trained and equipped >> [inaudible] >> it's talking about the militia and it's defined in the u.s. code section 10 is every able-bodied male 17 to 45. the militia was we the people so there's no contradiction there.
is the - than or does it now? every citizen. every a bold -- >> so no. >> so yes. blacks were citizens, blacks our citizens now. 's dependent on the stat. he's asking my opinion. >> whose opinion are you asking? >> i was asking your reference to the fact. >> okay. the militia is we the people and every citizen as part of the militia. with the states did about that? >> let me offer a bill i read last week that deines the extreme to which the measures are being taken, it is a bill that is a concealed carry the bill, the righto carry coming into only have to establish -- you are qualified if you are not mentally incompetent and were not a film. so why ask the author of the
bill how one would go about determining the process, and the process itself is certification. [laughter] and that's the bill that is written in the montana legislature. so it requires a mentally incompetent person to conclude that he's competent and then he can carry a gun to read this envisions a government so strained that it is no government and it's particularly acute on guns. >> this is the state's rights issue and the gun rights issue is the next tomorrow i think. >> there is going to be a panel i believe it's on wednesday. >> it looks like three more questions. let's see if we can get to them bere we have to leave.
mr. mack or the one for me that represents a state or could see representing stat why question is i feel the federal government s to step in where the states don't do what theyeed to do for the people. and with arizona would be willing to pass a health bill would take care of every person in the state, one of its comprehensive, that's the question. >> i hope not. arizona will lead that issue alone and -- put the question is when the federal government refuses for political reasons to protect the borders as constitutionally designed and required, does the state of arizona have a right to protect itself? obama says we don't. >> thank you. >> thank you. gif sam? >> it seems we are not having the correct conversation. we are talking about the power,
but we are not really talking about how to do with these issues we are calling them. things like state rights and for government you have on both sides, the ego power on both sides and the act the same way. >> do you have a question? >> when jfferson was or not there were not things called corporations that have international stature. so here's to regulate. how do you manage those? what is the proper approach to deal with situations which didn't accessed with the constitution was sworn which isn't in people's minds that not exist so how would you handle something like tht and we aren't talking about how to handle that, we are pointing fingers or we are taking power but not talking about it and that's the issue that's going to destroy it. >> i disagree with you from the benning. we had a system that took into account ego and power. it's called the power the james
madison federal paper number 47. if all men [inaudible] no government would be possible to read our system is designed as a way of regulating competing interests federalists can putting the ambition against the ambition because that is, according to the founders, the safest way to prevent anybody from achieving absolute power which to quote the acting corrupt absolutely. that principle is sound and how we apply it to the specific circumstances of the 21st century and reasonable people and continue to disagree about that. suggested a different perspectives. [inaudible] >> i'm not hearing the part of the conversation. >> thank you.
>> they're always going to be a conversation about the ego. >> we have three guys with pretty big egos of here. [laughter] >> how are we managing -- >> that is a corporation -- >> the federal government has allowed it. >> the states as well. you're right. the corporations are an american. >> my question i particularly -- >> can you speak up just a little bit? >> my question is for the professor kaufman, once upon a time, there was a change in how the senators were elected, and because of that, has actually been a change in states' rights because once there was the legislature's who elective the senators and today it's done by the presidents. >> you are absolutely correct. i was at eight -- justice scalia
made the same point that if you want to work of the watershed that altered te original allocation of power under the constitution, it was the amendment to give that indirect voting to the people to choose the center's senators because when the senators will bealled in to the state legislatures they are more likely to take the interests of the state into account and there's a counter argument in the progressive tradition that it is much better to have direct elections, but in terms of identifying probably the watershed event that shifted the balance toward the federal government, you are 00% right for citing the example, very perceptive. >> let me piggyback on that, a number that i know i cited in the past panels is at least a couple of years ago max baucus
of montana who had the leading role in the health care negotiations received 13% of his funds for election campaign finance from the state of montana and the other 87% from people that have interest in the committee and the previous one was also correct and it seems like we actually have a fair amount of agreement here, but i think the largest problem facing this country right now is that at almost every level of government except for a brave and couragus individuals, corporations are now in charge. [applause] >> if i could add one thing. i don't say this to be faceous, justice scalia never covered a session of the texas legislature. i'm not sure that i want them with the balance of power, but i don't know that the state
legislators are the places that should be choosing the centers today. >> i'm so sorry that we are out of time. >> i'm trying to pull the threads of the panel together to see if i can find some cmmon ground, and believe me, this is very challenging, but i think i might venture this much we would all be very happy if the eriff's would protect the corporations -- [applause] enjoy the conference on world affairs >> tonight, and look at the news industry. you will hear from a panel of
journalists as they discuss the current state of news and commentary and what happens when they converged. >> must spark people i know are not listening to nancy pelosi for their world view, nor to john boehner. >> right. >> and most of cannot go home at night and talk about continuing resolutions to fund the united states government. maybe it is different in the room -- >> not at my house. [laughter] >> we forget that. let's be honest. you're probably conservative about some things. you want your taxes to be low. but if a couple of big as want to get married, would you care? >> reichert >> why is it in the media we still have to be -- >> right. >> why is it in the media we still have to be red teamed or blue team? >> that is tonight on c-span.
>> tonight on c-span 2, a discussion on education reform with the rev. al sharpton and education secretary foresaw rights rush mid ollie. it is and how they think student achievement can improve. >> for use to hear debate about affirmative action and people would say why do we need a program? because we had a program to exclude people. you needed a program to counter the program you had. it was not an osmosis that excluded people. it was intentional. and you needed to intentionally correct what was wrong. >> watch this event from the aspen institute tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> the president announced the deficit-reduction plan last reducethat he expects to thi
the deficit in the next 12 years. tomorrow, we will hear more of a proposal. our guest is andy stern, the former president of the service employees international union. that is tomorrow morning at 9:15 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> let's meet one of our top winners in this year's studentcam competition. they're asked to issue a video that helps them better understand the federal army. an eighth grader -- how are you doing? >> i am doing well. >> why did you choose tax policy for your documentary? >> it was a timely issue. it was a big decision for the federal government in washington, d.c. that affected
just about everyone in our country. parks with vigilant from the people you interviewed for your documentary? >> we learned that the tax code is something that people need to take seriously. >> what you think about the state of the economy right now? >> i think that the economic storm that we mention in our documentary is beginning to subside. i think that the sun will shine in a couple of months or so, hopefully. >> how important is compromise in deciding economic legislation. >> i think is the key factor. both plans that congress have had, their pros and cons, they really need to get the best of both. i think that is what happened. >> how has this compromise affected you and your community? >> it affected us because the increase in available spending money has affected everyone in the country, not only us, but everyone.
i think it will delete help us out of the whole we have dug ourselves. >> -- it will definitely help us out of the whole we dug ourselves. >> what would you have done differently? >> i do not think i would have done anything differently. it turned out great. i probably would favor the republican plan. as professor bruce said in a documentary, the millionaires and billionaires in our country really make up a big chunk of our economy. if they were forced to pay more money through taxes, as president obama wanted to, then that would slow our economy even knomore. the tax code is something that is really important and it affects everyone. >> filing, what is the message that you would like to share with people through your dog -- finally, what is the message that you like to share with people through your documentary. >> the petco government has a
big impact on everybody's daily lives -- the bedroom government has a big impact on everybody's daily lives. " thank you for talking with us today. -- >> thank you for talking with us today. >> here is a brief of his documentary. >> by making sure that americans have more to spend and to save and to invest, this legislation is adding fuel to an economic recovery. >> they were tasked with a sunset of 2010. >> unfortunate, congress was divided on the topic. barack obama developed a compromise. >> we should further extend the bush tax cuts for all families making less than two hundred $50,000 a year. >> as opposed to the democratic view, republicans felt that extending the bush tax cut for the entire population was the way to go.
john boehner was the leader of the republican effort to convince congress to extend all the bush tax cuts. >> i think extending all of the current tracks rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty in america and help small businesses begin to create jobs again. >> you can see this entire video at a studentcam.org. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> throughout the month of april, we will feature the winners of our competition. watch the winning videos every morning on c-span at 6:50 a.m. eastern, just before "washington journal." during the program, meet the students who created them. stream the winning videos any m.org.nline at studentcajl9
fire that changed america. we should also remember that it took nearly 60 years before comprehensive occupational safety and health legislation that created osha became the law of the land. in the years immediately before the occupational safety and health act was signed into law, millions were disabled or harm through workplace accidents or exposure to dangerous chemicals. ever since opening its doors in april 1971, osha has worked to ensure that all americans can go to work without fearing for their health, their safety, or their lives. the mission is never complete. but it is being fulfilled. that is thank you in large part to osha efforts, and fatalities and injury rates are down in the last 40 years. under the leadership of david michaels, the agency is pursuing
its mission with renewed energy and renewed focus. we can rattle off the progress that osha has made, but what has brought it home is the stories from the from mine. i want to give special thank you to kathy and mike for traveling here today to share their stories. kathy works as a nurse in pittsburgh and mike began working 25 years ago as a pipefitter in topeka, kansas. they both witnessed death because of unsafe working conditions and they both have seen dramatic improvement because of actions taken by osha. back in 1983, 10,000 health care workers contract hepatitis b, often from accidental contact with contaminated needles. that number began to fall as osha investigated the problem and issued industry guidance. the number of workers then infected by hepatitis b were
fewer than 400 by the end of the decade. osha also has a long history of protecting manufacturing workers. one of these first -- since the standard was issued in 1976, the risk of lung cancer among these workers has declined. democrats and republicans alike should celebrate osha's success and they should celebrate the story together of the legislation that created osha, which was passed by a democratic congress and signed into law by president nixon. we should all agree that fewer workers dying are suffering injuries on the job is good for our economy, for families, and for business. today, congress and the demonstration are wrestling or the federal budget and how to deal with the deficit. we should make sure that osha does not become a bargaining chip in that debate.
to be sure, we must reduce our long term deficit and stabilizing our debt picture. the budget was only $559 million, less than 102% of the federal budget. -- less than .02% of the federal budget. we cannot balance the budget on .he backs of americans we could not if we wanted to and we should not. that is something that we have to ensure does not happen. already, osha is doing more with less. osha silver servants predicted 60 million service at 4 million worksites. by 2007, the american work force has more than doubled to 132 million workers at over 9 million work sites. osha staff has shrunk to 2200.
instead of cutting osha's budget, which should be investing more in this health and safety of our work force. we will and with greater productivity, stronger growth in our economy, and higher wages. progressr for american has released a report. we invest in priorities that are essential for economic growth and american competitiveness, including science education, a for structure, and the american worker. there should be no doubt that boosting competitiveness and no debate about the need to revitalize a share after budget cuts for the last decade.
fewer injuries and fewer illnesses can lower medical and disability expenses for both government and business and more productive workers. smart companies like johnson and johnson, which is represented here today by dr. joseph van houten, show how closely they can work with ocean to ensure safety. and the secretary of labor for osha, smart companies have a partnership under david leadership to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. modernizing operations through use of better information technologies, boosting efforts in enforcement and compliance and completing common-sense standards to protect workers. before his confirmation in december 2009, david served as professor of environmental and occupational health at the washington university school of
public health where he was the nationally recognized epidemiologist. previously, he served in 1998 to 2001 as the secretary of energy for environment safety and health. he was the chief architect of an historic initiative to compensate nuclear weapons workers who suffer from exposure to radiation, brilliant, and other hazards. david is also the author of numerous studies and publications examining workplace health and safety issues, scientific integrity, and regulatory policy. the center for american progress is pleased to hold and even for david two years ago for the release of his book. we are honored that he is back today to celebrate osha's 40 anniversary. david, the podium is yours.
[applause] >> good morning and thank you for that warm introduction. 40 years ago, the united states congress and president richard nixon created a new law dedicated to a series of radical propositions. that all workers deserve a safe workplace, that workplace injuries and illnesses and fatalities are not an act of god, but preventable, but that workers should not have to choose between their lives and their jobs. president nixon called the occupational safety and health act one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed by the congress of the united states. appointed by president ford, he described oshas the instrument of revolutionary law. it is hard to believe, before osha, workers did not have the
basic human right to a safe workplace. passing the osha law was an historic moment. the federal government stepped in because neither state nor local governments nor the worker's compensation system had succeeded in eliminating the carnage in the workplace of that era. before a show, but when the worker was killed on the job, perhaps there was an investigation. -- before osha, when a worker was killed on the job, perhaps there was an investigation. when a worker died of occupational disease, often after many years of exposure, it was one of those unfortunate things that the worker and their families had to live with. they have the right to know the names are the proper use of chemicals with which they work. that reality is captured by the occupational hazard."
worker deaths in america are down from 14,000 in the year 1970 to 4400 in 2009 and the workforce has doubled in size. reported injuries are down as well, from 10.9 per 100 workers in 1982 to less than four in 2009. some of this decline was due to the economic shift from manufacturing to service. clearly, much of our progress is due to tougher government standards and greater awareness of workplace safety brought about by osha. despite this progress, there's still much work to be done. this month also marks the first anniversary of the death of 11 workers on the deep water horizon oil platform. the seven killed at the refinery in washington, and the 29 killed at the upper big branch line in carolina.
14 were killed at the interior sugar refinery in georgia. these are the few workplace tragedies that have been chronicled in the national headlines. but they do not tell the whole story. every day in this country, an average of 12 workers are killed on the job. if a deepwater horizon disaster was on the 7:00 news every evening, you would get public outcry. but because these 40 hut -- these 4400 deaths per year happen one at a time in different towns, large and small across america, they rarely make headlines. they are not noted and the drive no change. even less visible are the more than 3 million workers who suffer job-related injuries every year.
the walls of the osha conference room are lined with the workers who have lost their lives in the job. they understand and we understand what is most important, that these deaths and injuries are preventable, by basic safety precautions, such as providing a safety harness and one to catch workers when they fall off a roof, shoring up the trench to make sure it does not caught, or turning off the machine so it does not cut off the workers hand. in the late 1980's, ocean enacted -- oh shut enacted a new policy. since then, -- osha enacted new policy. the cotton dust standard brought down the rates of lung disease
among workers. worker exposure to asbestos, lead, and bending have been dramatically reduced. and new standards -- i never cease to be surprised at how 40 years after this law was passed that many americans still don't know what osha does. a recent study of workers in chicago showed that one in five suffered injury or illness on the job. but most never received proper safety training and many had never heard of osha. at a forum last week, a pulsimeter asked why this ocean not have a system to help employers before a problem happens. >> we do have that system. osha does not kill jobs. it stops jobs from killing workers. but despite this evidence,
despite the progress we have made, we are in days been great debate over worker protections come over the benefits and costs of regulation, over the taxpayer dollars to ensure our nation's workers will be able to come home safely after a hard day's work. our challenge every day on had to make this 40-year-old law work effectively. in the past 40 years, the face of working america changed dramatically. forecasters are still with us. but we face a growing number of hazards in the service sector. we stroll to ensure that programs are emulated while trying to improve the schools we have to address standards in various industries. it is not easy. osha standards have saved countless lives of the past decade. but the world-making process is ever slower. all hazards remain -- but the
rulemaking process is never sure. remain.zards -- old hazards remain. osha and are still partners have about 20 two hundred inspectors to address hazards -- osha and our state partners have about 200 inspectors to address hazards. the creators of the osha law intended to ensure that they have a role in treating safe -- in creating safe workplace standards. far too many of those who understand these problems do not feel safe raising these issues in the workplace. osha cannot face these
challenges alone. i am very excited about some of the new approaches we are developing. osha is embarking on a fundamental new way to address health in the workplace. a systematic process were all employers can identify the hazards in their workplace and find a way to fix them before employees are hurt. i say this because it is not new at all. they were enacted over 20 years ago. the standards that we will be proposing is based on a long and successful experience of 15 states who have similar requirements, including california, washington, and minnesota.
our sharp program recognizes those companies that work hard to protect employees. workerspirit of ikeeping say, i am joined with some of the leading experts, along with two workers who work on the frontlines of cp. i walked -- of safety. on april 28, a week from today, is worker memorial day. this is the day dedicated to the memory of workers who lost their lives on the job. we will be planting a tree on the grounds. the tree will be permanent reminder of those workers we have lost. it will serve as a call to action that we must commit ourselves to address the many challenges still facing us today, to rededicate ourselves to the original promise of the occupational safety and health act, to ensure that every worker in the united states comes home safely to their families after a day's work.
the spirit of those who died and those who live for better conditions and to achieve the goals that all americans strive for. thank you very much. >> we will not transition to our first panel discussion. david, if you to come to the stage, and kathy and mike. watch your step. david and john did a great job at setting the context. i will start with some questions. after a couple of minutes, we will open it up to the audience. she is currently a nurse at
allegheny general hospital. she serves on the executive board of her union. she is chair of the nurse alliance at the seiu health and politics policy committee. mike works at goodyear tire and rubber in kansas where he was hired 25 years ago as a pipe fitter. during his career, he has held and served in various sectors positions, including his current position as a safety and health coordinator for the united steelworkers at goodyear. he previously spent 14 years the year as a first responder medical officer and emergency medical technician, capt., and safety officer. he inspected numerous training for members on osha standards.
cathy, let's start with you. many people probably do not think of health care workers when they think of osha. in fact, you do face dangers in your job. maybe you can talk a little bit about some of the dangers that health care workers face, your personal experiences, and how osha has helped make things better over the years. >> certainly. every day, health care workers walk into a disease-infested workplace. they do it on christmas and the holidays. it can be a scary place to go to work. in my career, since 1979, things have changed so much in the workplace as far as safety. early in my career, i work with someone who was stuck with a needle and contracted hepatitis.
another co-worker contracted hepatitis in that time before blood borne pathogens. since osha has instituted 60 regulations for blood-borne pathogens, 97% of health workers go to work everyday and do not think about it. we have training education. the department needs vaccinations so they didn't even talk about hepatitis. today, i go to work and none of my colleagues and up with hepatitis from inadvertent exposure to blood and body fluids. >> mike, you also experienced workplace tragedy. maybe you can start by telling us about what got you interested in worker health and safety and describe some of the changes you have seen.
>> exactly. when i was hired at goodyear at 25 years of age, i was hired as a pipefitter. i worked with this gentleman who did on the job training. we always had our tools. we were fixing machinery and stuff. we heard the alarm system go off and the plant. make sure you respond with your tools because you may have to pull out a trap co-worker or whatever. one day, two weeks after i was hired, the alarm went off. we found first responders around a machine and they are pulling this man out of a machine to has been crushed by a part of the machine, a newly designed machine, that they were using. i was 25 years old. i had no idea what to do, what actions i should take. i just stood back in all of what was going on. it was -- in awe of what was going on.
come to find that these were newly designed machines that was not allotted to the osha standards. we fight -- was not guarded to the osha standards. i cannot tell you how osha has helped over the years. i am third generation with a good year. i father has been active in the union as well, too, as an activist. but my father used to build ties and he was a heavy smoker. he smoked two packs to three packs of cigarettes a day. thank god he is still alive today. but he had is a lighter that he carried in his light -- he had a zippo lighter that he carried in his pocket. it used to take benzene. he carried it in his pocket and he developed a tumor based upon them.
when osha came up with the benzene law, it became removed from the general industry. that has an impact on the changes of what osha does in a workplace. we have a lot of room to go. >> did you want to add something? >> one of the other things>> wh, being needles safe. -- needle safe. imagine the environmental service worker or the laundry worker that had to find needles imbedded in garbage. we had to go down to the room. in every single room, there are mailboxes and that might be contaminated. i think back in the day, there
was a time where we did not wear gloves. it was for surgery at the very serious cases of dressing changes. i am active in the union at the hospital. it is called life safety. we walk around, and that is what life safety is, and having the power and an employer like mine that was so committed to a safe hospital is so important. steve neils and wearing gloves, those precautions have changed lives. >> we heard mention of the standards. they seem obvious in retrospect.
but there were actually challenge is getting them done, and when it tries to protect worker health and safety, that is almost always the case. >> of the employers, some of them say that we can't make that change, it will cost too much money or is not necessary. we have the pathogen standard to protect. the dentists said that you are killing the tooth fairy because they felt that we were requiring that you could not give back, that is not true. he said not to -- they said not to wear masks because it would scare the kids off. we created a new normal. is the best. it was discovered to cause cancer.
when they said it would require essentially full protection, to workers who make them at our disposal, the industry said it would cost over 1 million jobs. the industry figured out that by closing the processes, they could save money. it made the industry more competitive. of course these are closed systems. getting there is always a great struggle. we need the support of the public, and we really need to make people look at the evidence and not just listen to whoever they are saying the standards are costing too much money where it will not be effective. the really don't cost of the sort of money that everybody says they will. >> we still have zero ways to go maybe you can talk a little
bit about some of the challenges that we still face on workers' health -- the worker health and safety. >> with organized labor, i have a contract with here that gives me extra right above and beyond regulations. the thing out there with my years of teaching in the general public, either at a community college or new employer, a lot of the workers don't have a voice. they don't have a voice in what the rights are. he said even earlier that they are in viet laws, the act itself, they just don't know it. they don't have enough education for the workers out bear to know what the rights are, how to utilize rights without fear of being disciplined or being discharged or something like that. we need to give the workers the strength and let them be a
voice. give them some kind of structure that they could say they are part of the safety committee. that is what we need. >> in your workplace, what are some of the challenges that still remain and some of the things that need to be done? >> had a secretary alluded to ergonomics. it is significant. working collectively in that area will definitely be important airborne precautions. we think about the virus is to come. we'd have stronger standards about airborne pathogens and protection. i think what is coming up is workplace violence. they work in nursing homes, mental health institutions, he will be working within the communities now, and a major focus on workplace violence, people get mad when their
families are sick. we have a completely educated public, it is important. working with our unions together, i think those are very important. having regulations on working with the administration on. >> the mention of working on workplace injury and and the standards. how might a standard like that help situations and that they are describing? >> and there is a standard for every household. there is a huge range of potential hazards. we say the you have to do certain things because they will prevent injuries or fatalities. most responsible employers understand that to really protect, you go beyond the standards.
the change the culture of the workplace and you look at what hazards are and you address them. there are many employers that do that now, but there are many that don't. they will bring all employers to a higher level are uss the hazards and come up with a plan to address them. it will take us well beyond where the standards are at this point until produce the fatalities and injuries. >> i think we're ready to open up. >> a part of the vision was to give workers more of her role in trying to implement and to make workplaces safer. last week, i was talking with construction workers, they're talking about developing applications so that workers on
construction sites could report violations right away. they're saying that the biggest problem for them was that every state had different regulations. it was tough to make these sort of social media. what tools are they looking at? >> we're looking exactly at that. there is a lot of potential for people to not just call us, but information with specific and gps linkage. for those of you that don't know, there are 21 states that have programs the cover private sector workers. they have the right to have their own program, but the
regulations are basically the same. while it may look different than the surface, there is no reason that construction workers could not use that same application. >> i was looking back at some historical research at the time when workplace deaths were estimated to be at 100 today. that is terrible. my question to you, looking forward, your budget has been cut by 18% by the end of the year. what is that going to do to enforcement, the new program the you're talking about? >> our budget has not been cut at all.
in the budget agreement, there was an across-the-board cut, so we will spend less time than last year, but we did not have a budget cut. we were very pleased in their wisdom. they recognized that shouldn't be cut and it wasn't cut. it is worth recognizing that things are really not much worse. it came out of that triangle. and the protection association that really began the idea of sprinklers. we celebrate the outcome of the will to the future to see how we can further affect workers. >> further questions?
>> i am with bloomberg government. we were just completing a study, and we reviewed the 15 states that have programs in place. we noticed the spike in inspections following an act. are there plans to change inspections in light of the implementation or adoption of a rule? >> we certainly haven't seen that. he will looking at associations with any new standard. we are a few years away from completion of this rule. when we go to the small business process, i think will have a very robust public discussion about how to enforce these laws. we can really move the ball forward.
>> i did some of my union advocates question. tell me what difference you think your role as a safety guy company-wide and has made and the health and welfare of employees? >> over the years, we have had a lot of tragedy and the factories. with the worker's involvement, they have expertise on the floor. it comes with a handful of our of improving workplace restraints. trying to figure out because of
of an accident. we get workers involved. the position the have currently is to allow that to a network between the factories. >> i would be interested in your perspective as well. >> we don't advocate only for ourselves. i am an advocate for quality. the highest quality of care is what everyone deserves. they shouldn't have an infection when they leave. they should be able to have the surgery or the treatment that they need. and of the people that touch them from the people that it's chromophores or washed the walls should be safe.
having the voice on the job is so important because i can stand up for you. i know what to say, i know where to look. the millions that of, a thing that opportunity to be able to have a voice and say can identify and be safe, not having to send the picture, and but they let's work together on this. it isn't easy and comfortable interaction. i think the speaker management around the country. i am not management, but i think they don't want people to be heard on the job. they want patients to be healthy. if there is some of their holding their feet to the fire or even being educated, we have health and safety training. that is money well invested.
people live because we do that. that is the difference. working together to have regulations that said you must have training on some very important issues like pathogens or ergonomics, we practice that in our hospital. there should be a regulation that no new unit should be built without having an ergonomic the safeway the move patients because workplace injuries and back injuries -- i have three years of experience. it takes experienced health-care workers away from patients that need them. it is not ok. >> just to piggyback off what you said with the ergonomics
issue and the strains that you mentioned, will it be resurrected anytime soon. we are doing a database of their injuries and illnesses. 99% of them are ergonomic. things like that. goshawk the no plans to reintroduce the standards, but we remain very concerned. we have sent a number of approaches from issuing guidelines for all work practices ha, ha and also using our enforcement abilities. the simple statement that every employer is required to provide a workplace free of hazards, that is what we call the general did because.
>> other questions? >> i am with the farmworker justice. agricultural workers are ranked as having the second or third most dangerous job in the united states. and yet they are excluded from most of the safety standards. i am wondering whether we can hope for any progress on removing that exclusion of farm workers from the safety standards? >> that has focused more on urban workers in manufacturing construction services. we recognize it is trying to address that. actuallyow, we don't
issue regulations. only the environmental protection agency can do that. >> that will be our last question. we are now going to transition to the second panel. [applause] again, i am just going to introduce our new panelists and will go on to q&a. he's a very accomplished people. they will be a little abbreviated.
he is director of the occupational safety and health where she has worked since 1977. she has worked on a wide range of regulatory initiatives and coordinated the labor unions on a worker's right to know. she has served on numerous advisory committees and as the lead architect in workers of memorial day on april 28 to remember workers killed, injured, or disease on the job. there is the senior director of worldwide health and safety. his responsibilities include global leadership, industrial hygiene, toxicology, ergonomics, and food safety programs. his background includes over 30 years of experience in the
pharmaceutical and health-care products industry. initially as a research scientist and does the safety leader. his research expands regulatory and labor market policies. industrial and labour relations, and transparency policy. he is the author of three books and previously worked as an adviser to the u.s. department of labour. our division and another number of government agencies. he has served on a range of labor-management issues across the globe. let's start with you. the work closely and often pushed them to do more. any talk about the relationship that unions like yours have with the agency? >> there is a long history with this agency and with this law.
it was the unions that got a law passed back in 1970. since that time, i would say that we have been both a friend to the agency and made times, and other times pushing the agency. virtually all of those came because the union's petition. and we followed up in defending those rules. our history is one of pushing, pushing, pushing for stronger worker protections. and over the many decades here, there have been heads of the agency that were very committed to safety and health. going back to president ford,
and the first president bush, certainly david michaels. we have had a good relationship. it was always one of trying to push the agency to do its job. we have had a couple of times during the history that we did not have such a great relationship. during the most recent bush administration, they did not really want to work with unions. there is a policy in place where the head was not allowed to come talk to the unions about safety and health. we work closely with them, but i think our role is to hold a fee to the fire and keep reminding them of what their job is, to protect workers. >> a similar question to you. how does johnson and johnson approach worker safety? how you interact? >> have a longstanding
commitment to health and safety that is probably hold of the company. the values that we have a as an organization are collected in the document that was put together by the chairman of the company back in 1943. his name was robert johnson. yet the title of brigadier- general because of the work that he did for the country during world war two. and you looked at it, and he tells the responsibilities to the people that we serve. their customers first, employees, community, shareholders. pacific to safety, it was generally working conditions, clean, orderly, safe. while it has had a cause for a few years, johnson and johnson has had them for the last 68
years. that is what drives us for health and safety. how to talk a little bit about how we operational lives that. we have a systematic approach public to identify and control all health and safety risks. it involves management, employee engagement, and we come up with the system that yields an extraordinary results. they talked about well as prevention programs. this is something we think is gone as far as standards and host of -- osha. >> is often attacked for imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses. how do you view these attacks and how did you describe the costs and benefits?
>> in public economics, we talk about intervention. the statistics have already been stated. but the fatalities in 1970, a around 14,000 year. the injury rates similarly dropping from close to 1100 workers to 3.5 or 3.6 this year. each of those implies a huge benefits. both the private sector organizations like johnson and johnson in terms of productivity and having people live preserved and the benefit that confers the businesses. there is also a huge public benefit that goes beyond that that is obviously related to safety and all of the benefits to individuals and their
families and that kind of huge reduction. there are enormous benefits, and a lot of that goes to osha. on the benefit side, i think she made a point in describing the change of how workplaces operate vs 40 years ago or 20 years ago. the protocol has been transformed by the presence of osha. on the benefit side, there is enormous evidence that we gained
a lot. the cost side is usually the side that is most subject to hyperbole. the evidence is generally shown that the costs that are anticipated, even those that have estimated are usually much smaller ones to the standards are put in place. they tried to do something in a cost-effective way. the story that the assistant secretary described, equally, at the time, it will going to destroy the american history. it reduces exposure to dust and increases productivity and quality of american textile mills and the 1980's and 1990's because of that. my sense of the evidence is that
the benefits we receive are much larger her that i think have been anticipated and the costs tend to be much smaller than anticipated. >> we have talked a lot about standards, but there are other ways and that it promotes worker health and safety as well. maybe you can talk a little bit about some of those things. >> there are a variety of strategies and tools that we use. we know that there are many small ones out there that don't have the resources to know exactly how to protect the workers. it makes the consultation program through the state, we pay for almost all of this. we encourage employers to have compensation. we also have cooperative programs.
they're committed beyond that. it is ensuring that workers are truly protected. other companies across the country like voluntary participation programs. companies get involved, the workers get involved, but they become a special government employees. the help other employees address those problems as well. we have a web site with a tremendous amount of information. we get a hundred and 80 million visitors a year. we are open to new ideas as well. there are different approaches. we really want to reach out and have workplaces change before someone is hurt. gosh you have experienced this with compliance assistance.
how does that work? what is the interaction like? >> while we are very mindful of the fact that it is a regulatory agency, we have always looked to build a strong relationship because we have a common mission. one of the best examples is when we sent our corporate safety director back down in 1989 to become the head. they spent 10 years at j&j as our corporate safety director. the collaboration that were still very valuable, we worked with folks in putting together guidelines in handling plastic drugs. we used in pharmaceutical experts to help with those guidelines together. in 2003, we entered into a
formal partnership. we knew that we had something that we could share and we wanted to help them understand some of the best practices that we had. the impact that a number of areas. there was a specifically the united postal service facility in rochester n.y. where we had our people go when and talk about some of the ergonomics. we have had a very strong and the history of collaboration. >> [unintelligible] it is an area of great concern for us. texting on the road. while driving. it is working closely with the
national federation of independent businesses. >> unions are also part of working with the myriad maybe you can talk a little bit about how you promote worker health and safety. >> they bark and with employers. -- martin with employers. that really is the primary focus of unions in addressing safety and health. as we heard from kathy and mike, they have been helpful. sometimes very formal partnerships between employers and the unions. the steelworkers had a number of those partnerships. there is a lot that goes on in safety and health but is not directly -- it comes from the
fact that there was a law passed or regulations on the books. that puts in place the frame work, the requirements, and the impetus to direct how we address these problems. there is a lot of work that goes on within the agency, but i think what we have to remember, as david said, it is a tiny agency. there 2300 people on staff nationally. that is smaller today. there were more inspectors back in 1980. the work force is much bigger. would your report every year looking at inspections, and this year, we look at the data and see that the workplace is
responsible. so let's keep that in mind. what unions are doing and employers are doing, a lot of it is driven by a thick, but it doesn't directly involve them on an ongoing basis. >> you have written about how to evaluate osha and their performance. talk a little bit about that. how do we know we are getting what we want? >> it builds on what they were just saying, that it is still going to be very unlikely that it will show up at any given workplace. and what the effects ultimately are are the impacts on spillovers and sort of changing the culture and the decision making people have about health
and safety. the challenges have to affect the whole range of employers. they are developing new approaches will who for standards evolved. equally, they have to think about the other end of the spectrum. people that are set against adopting even basic health and safety standards and practices, ultimately, you're trying to gauge how it has an impact and changes things. how does it bring out particularly the end of the spectrum that is not complying that is resistant to change in the building that end of the spectrum of to you can continue to support progressive businesses that are doing the right thing in pushing the envelope on approaches to health and safety. that is what we have to think about in terms of performance.
>> the is what was talked about earlier who by david michaels. it is not as bringing up the flagging, it is setting the bar for were employers need to be. when i looked at the last 40 years, i think it has made but the biggest difference through standards, setting the norms of performance. it dealt with a particular hazard with hepatitis b and h a v. there really wasn't a lot of regulation and health care. what came was not only a standard. it came as an intention to safety and health that began to be built that wasn't there. there wasn't a program standard that applies anywhere. but because of that standard, in broad safety and health to that industry that had not happened before.
in many cases, it was a particular standards. they did not just deal with cotton dust, the bill with other hazards. that is one of the challenges we face now, that the regulatory process is so difficult to issue rules, the last major standard was 2010. we have not had this bar setting. one of the things we have seen is that without a new norms and with so much pressure, they are not putting the same focus necessarily on safety and health of the corporate level. there is concern that the driver was really ending up in reduced activity being paid to
safety and health. this wondering what you're seeing and perhaps other employers? >> in addition to standards, the interest of the community in terms of overall stability, we have created a set of sustainability bowls. it is part of those goals. part of what i have going forward, companies like johnson and johnson are concerned about environmental health and safety. we will have the opportunity to influence what goes on with the tens of thousands of small businesses. it is a nice complement to regulation, of larger companies will have the supply chain and we can inform the process.
and >> this issue of the rulemaking process, what would have been your experience is as an administrator, it is very occupied. we are issuing a proposal. it was first on the federal regulatory agenda. just getting to a proposal, there will be numerous opportunities for public comment. our standard is 40 years old and requires equipment that is no longer available. of the 500 standards, it is
based of voluntary standard that has been unchanged since then. it will take five or 10 years and we can only a handful at a time. we're looking for ways to address that. we also have to think about standards. there are tragic stories. we have a very strong standard to protect workers from suffocation. people go and then, they are given a shuttle to break it up.
the highest number, one of the facilities, they were sent to their first day of work. not given any sort of the safety harness to pull them out. they perished on each other. we sent a letter to every facility in the country. there is no question about this. to a situation, listed on to the wall. standards were raise, some of them just don't get it.
>> one of the things i think is important to recognize is we celebrate the passions of the law. it has never been updated. it was updated after the tragedy there, whether this law has never been updated and there have been numerous attempts to do so, how we haven't gotten there. you still have essentially a law that was radical cut is pretty weak, particularly in the criminal penalty provisions. they're probably the weakest of all of the environmental safety laws out there. the criminal penalties are limited to cases where there is a willful violation the results in the death of a worker. a look at what the record is, and 40 years, we have had only
84 prosecutions. in that time, we have hundreds of thousands of workers died. last year, i think had over 300 prosecutions or convictions. yet more prosecutions, more convictions in one year than had in the entire history. we really need to bring them up to date. there is no reason why the laws that protect workers are so much weaker than the laws that protect the environment and the safety of the public and workers in other areas. >> getting back to what david was saying about the standard, one of the problems is the way that the cost-benefit analysis is done.
how was the cost benefit analysis done? what are some of the assumptions that are built into a cost benefit analysis? >> you want to put everyone to sleep. the reality is that the fed costs, the areas make a lot of sense. you want to improve social welfare and make sure any adventure -- and the benefits outweigh the costs. it has become incredibly politicized. even the evaluation of appropriate benefits and costs become the subject of great conflict and fodder for fighting at the battle of whether you want to regulate in the first place in a nod. in terms of both the science and the economics, there is more and more agreement on what the cost analysis looks like.
they have something in the office of management and budget, there are ways to do it. separating of the right way to calculate the benefits and costs from the policy surrounding it. that is where the difficulties of the standard setting process comes sen. the comments about both standard setting and legislation, the sort of sets up the tension about changing a lot and improving standards versus how much we can do with the existing enforcement apparatus. one of the promising things in the last two years has been a real emphasis on looking at existing enforcement and out reach kinds of capabilities. not to say that you don't want
to do legislation, but think often, and the enforcement systems we have aren't as far as they can to improve conditions given what we have. there's been a hard look at penalty policies focusing on enforcement and the nature of the region that is very different. i think our bearings have improved. >> you're starting to do more on enforcement. what are some of those things, and what is the appropriate penalty. >> of the penalties are set by congress. it is $7,000, and we often have investigations where the penalty is $4,000. that is the cost of doing business.
we reduce it for employers as well as other factors. we can't change the penalty structure in a major way, but we can look at what sort of effect we can have. one of the things we can have our severe violators, particular types that will seriously endanger the facilities. they do the same sort of work, because it is reasonable to say that those will be similar. we certainly have that history from a couple of companies. they violate laws. we also tried to publicize our investigations essentially by talking about the things that could be in the newspaper.
they're being very aggressive with their press releases. had you make sure that you don't get one of these press releases? is very simple. update your hazards. we're trying to be creative. we are a small agency. the ec about , you try to look big. that is what we're trying to do. >> really are ready to take questions from the audience. i would like to follow up and asked whether using the procurement system in the federal government might be a more effective way to encourage good behavior by setting standards about what federal contractors got to be doing in this regard and penalizing people that don't live up to
those standards. >> we have looked at that. it is quite complex. it is not just a supply chain the issue, we can expect in the final purchaser to have requirements. we are doing some specific investigations that go a factory worker and produce material with the department of defense. we're working with asking questions, should the company elects to produce materials for the federal government? >> it is one that we advocated for for some time. there is less movement in that direction. the bush folks came in and wipe out the requirements.
is worth noting historic plea, if you look at the law, in reference to a variety of laws that existed. we have the service contract act that said that a federal government contractor had to follow these standards. it was those standards that got pulled in. they were adopted in 1971 and we live with them today. unfortunately, the whole area has not been looked at or strongly enforced. it is an excellent idea. we have to leverage the change that needs to happen and they need to be bigger levers to bring about the kind of change that we need. the federal government has leverage inconnus. >> when there is a problem that cannot be solved immediately,
and how often does this concern become part of a contract? what is the responsibility of the union, the members, the management, and making sure this is corrected in the future and the contract is fulfilled? >> unions have tried to address these problems over theears, and the think the basic approach of safety and health has been to bargain over the basic structure are the basic rights of having a committee, having the training that is needed, you can actually address problems. a number of units look at specific problems, the language that existed in the steelworkers union, there is very extensive language around particular hazards.
you tried to stay on that and use the contract to enforce that as well. one of the things that we have to think about is that this lot is 40 years old. it came into effect back in 1970. there is a whole generation of folks that grew up with this war on safety and health. and in terms of the work force, many of the basic industries here was that the new generation of folks coming in. they take for granted that this law was always there. we have a lot to do to bring along folks can't educate people and get them involved in these issues so that we have not only an educated work force, but a new generation of advocates. that is one of the biggest challenges that we face in the union movement of government and the month employers today.
>> right over here. >> i am jim parsons with engineering news magazine. i was wondering, since this is a look back at the first 40 years, maybe you can speak a little bit to how the construction hazards have evolved and maybe a little bit on the role that industry itself produces. and if there are any priorities right now, >> construction has been a very important area for us to look out. it has a far higher fatality rate. we have been the focus on construction, we have the number
of standards being planned. it will very much impact construction. one thing that we have done recently that we are very proud of is issue a full protection. the number one cause of fatalities are false. -- falls. workers are high up in construction, and if they are not protected, they are at risk of falling. there were a couple of workers the collapse, the firefighters came down and those workers were saved because they were on the scaffolding of wearing protection, where unharness those attached to the building. up until recently, we did not require the sort of help and
residential construction. for the residential construction industry, it was exempted from those rules. we were sued in federal court and we were victorious. will be a requirement for all workers involved in any sort of construction, they will have to wear full protection. we know that will save lives. >> it is obviously a very hazardous industry. there of a lot of efforts over the years to address safety and health with a lot of contractual language between management and unions setting up an extensive training programs. they are basically built into the training of workers. you have funds that are set up,
dedicated to the collective bargaining language. they insure that the workers get the proper safety and health training. that is not something that was mandated, it was a bargain between the industry and the construction unions. it has made a huge difference in addressing safety and health, changing conditions. another thing they have done to give you great credit, in construction, one of the highest risk or groups are those of immigrant and non english- speaking workers that make up a big part of the work force. look at the fatality rates, they are much higher than other workers. they have the terrific job in trying to get out of those sectors. as one to give you credit for that.
>> construction is a very heterogenous industry. they have supply chain issues, who drives them all the way down to the contractors, subcontractors. ito wonderful job. and there are many that don't. they pay less than minimum wage, and they don't. they provide very little with safety protection. we focus on those workers and those employers, doing the things they can do, compliance assistance programs on the web, also reaching out to organizations to reach an immigrant workers and don't speak english. in getting information out to then, you have rights.
you could fall. we have made very clear that we will enforce the training requirements. if you're doing required training, you have to do it in a language workers understand. it is amazing to think that we are in many situations where what the to train those workers safely? they did not speak english. you have to make sure they work safely. part of that era -- a part of that is training them in a language that they will understand. >> up to this point, many people think of sustainability and green jobs. one thing and give them credit for his the partnership that they had to park -- to talk about green jobs being saved jobs.
when you talk about solar panels, it is something we're going the look at to make sure those people are safe. allowed to bring health and safety and environmental aspects together. the way we can talk about sustainability and more. >> i would add one of thing. it goes back to what david is saying. this is a problem with coronation. you don't have one employer, you can have 15 or 20 different employers. that has always a challenge. looking at a future challenges beyond construction, we have more and more industries that have construction type organizations where it is not one employer, but multiple employers where the boundary of who is responsible is becoming very blurred. one of the things that we have to think hard about it and
learn is how to coordinate and make sure that we have adequate health and safety of more and more places. >> a big part of that is that with the reorganization of work and employment, we have a lot of workers being classified as independent contractors and self-employed. they're not protected. when you look at the fatality statistics that are collected every year, increasing numbers come from the death of self- employed individuals. many of them in construction and other sectors. this directly intersects, when somebody is an independent contractor, they don't touch them. >> one more question? in the back. >> i will lead to talk about
osha and work force development. i know a lot of nonprofits are taking on workforce development. we're finding none of them do training. they think about doing the videos available online? are maybe capturing all of us by way of the irs. we could have advance notification and making part of protocol. >> we have a program where we give funding to organizations to train workers across the board in every sort of sucker. we have applications from different groups. we provide training. for groups, we encourage them to
partner with organizations that do training. we have ways to reach out to workers to make sure that they know about safety and health. think you for that suggestion. >> this was a great discussion. and join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> the president expects to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. the next 12 years.